Like orchestras all over the world, the English Symphony Orchestra has been dealt a devastating artistic and financial blow by the COVID-19 crisis.
Concerts and recordings that were years in the planning were all cancelled, and the orchestra has lost over 60% of its annual turnover in earned income and cancelled concert fees. It has been our musicians who have been most hard-hit by this. Like most orchestral musicians in the London orchestras and chamber orchestras around the UK, they are paid on a freelance basis, so this has been a time of real hardship for all of them.
However, with great sacrifice, inspiring musician commitment, strong board leadership and generous emergency support from Arts Council England, the ESO have weathered the first stage of this crisis and are now looking ahead to the summer with an ambitious plan of projects to keep music alive throughout Elgar Country.